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 Post subject: Storing clamshell stones
Post #1 Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2023 9:09 pm 
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Hello everyone. I'm new here, writing from Mexico.

I've been playing Go (on and off) since the late 90s, when I first heard about it. A friend from Japan was kind enough to bring me a set and it's been my main one for years, decades now.

The board is a folding one (hinges broke long ago), stones and bowls are plastic so, I decided to finally invest in a slate & shell set. I'm counting the days for my package to arrive but in the meantime I've been trying to read about the caring of such stones and I have a question.

Do you usually keep them in their bowls? I've read a couple of comments about the clamshell getting stained from the wood. Is that a thing? Is this a problem for long term storage? I bought my set from Hyuga Go Board & Stone (https://en.goboard-stone.co.jp) and they seem to come in a nice bag. Should I keep them there and put them in their bowls when playing? Should I worry about this? Maybe I'm worrying too much. It's just exciting. I've never even seen that kind of stone in person and would like them to last.

Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Storing clamshell stones
Post #2 Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2023 3:08 am 
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Lot of people do put a piece of cloth under the stones at the bottom of the bowl. This might catch some dirt and the stones won't rattle as much. You can put the stones and bowls back in the packaging it came in after every use. There is no harm in that. It could be indicative of personality if you take good care of the Go stones like that for more than the first few weeks. Some players have trouble keeping the colors separate :)

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 Post subject: Re: Storing clamshell stones
Post #3 Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2023 9:01 am 
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kvasir wrote:
It could be indicative of personality


Oh, I bet it could :)

So, do you think the comments I read about the stones getting stained are just exaggerations or does it really happen?

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 Post subject: Re: Storing clamshell stones
Post #4 Posted: Fri Aug 04, 2023 9:53 am 
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I read similar comments about the stones getting stained. My impression from reading comments online was that it was more due to the wooden bowls being new rather than the stones sitting in them. The wood has been polished and finished and some of the chemicals remain. However, Kurokigoishiten's "note on storage" recommends storing the stones in the (cloth) bag, which I personally did, though the bag was inside the bowls. But you can see that even the manufacturer mentions "new Go bowls." I've had my stones for a couple years now but only recently placed them directly in the bowls without the bags.

Although, I also have a mini sized go board from Kurokigoishiten with shell stones sitting directly in the bowls without ever being in a bag. I've had this set for just over 2 years now. Here is a picture of the stones from the bottom of the bowl along with the care instructions. The stones look fine.

However, with all this talk about stones being stained I now vaguely remember seeing a spot of brown on my full sized clam stones in the very beginning and I think that is why I originally kept them in the bags inside the bowls. The mini sized stones (in the picture) did not come with cloth bags.

Thinking all this through my recommendation would be to wipe down the inside of the bowls with a cloth to remove any excess and then store the stones in a cloth bag incase you end up letting them sit for a while unmoved. You could also use the plastic bowls for storage. No idea how long you should wait but you'll know when the bowls are no longer "new."

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Storing clamshell stones
Post #5 Posted: Fri Aug 04, 2023 10:11 am 
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Ah, thank you! I'm glad to know it wasn't just a rumor and they actually include notes about the issue. Thanks for sharing :)

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 Post subject: Re: Storing clamshell stones
Post #6 Posted: Fri Aug 04, 2023 6:41 pm 
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kvasir wrote:
Lot of people do put a piece of cloth under the stones at the bottom of the bowl. This might catch some dirt and the stones won't rattle as much. You can put the stones and bowls back in the packaging it came in after every use. There is no harm in that. It could be indicative of personality if you take good care of the Go stones like that for more than the first few weeks. Some players have trouble keeping the colors separate :)


One reason for putting some cushioning in the bottom of the bowls is to function as a shock absorber when the stones are put back in the bowl after playing. Dumping a handful of stones into the bowl at once can result in chipping or breaking of the white stones.

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 Post subject: Re: Storing clamshell stones
Post #7 Posted: Fri Aug 04, 2023 7:52 pm 
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gowan wrote:
One reason for putting some cushioning in the bottom of the bowls is to function as a shock absorber


It makes sense. Before ordering the slate & shell I got my hands on some yunzi stones and I immediately noticed... it didn't seem like a good idea to just drop a bunch of stones inside the bowl.

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 Post subject: Re: Storing clamshell stones
Post #8 Posted: Sun Sep 03, 2023 8:03 am 
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Take good care of your shell stones. Do anything you find helpful and reasonable and your grandchildren will enjoy playing with them 50 years from now. Stains transferred to the stones would likely be caused by improper finishing of the bowls' interiors or the particular wood species simply may secrete a sap that cannot be stopped by a lacquer or a resin coating.

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 Post subject: Re: Storing clamshell stones
Post #9 Posted: Wed Sep 06, 2023 8:55 am 
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bogiesan02 wrote:
Take good care of your shell stones. Do anything you find helpful and reasonable and your grandchildren will enjoy playing with them 50 years from now. Stains transferred to the stones would likely be caused by improper finishing of the bowls' interiors or the particular wood species simply may secrete a sap that cannot be stopped by a lacquer or a resin coating.


Will do indeed. You mention a sap... I've been wondering what it is that could stain the stones. Kurokigoishiten's note mentions the bowls being new, so maybe secretions stop after a while?


Last edited by expora on Wed Sep 06, 2023 9:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Storing clamshell stones
Post #10 Posted: Wed Sep 06, 2023 9:21 am 
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expora wrote:
You mention a sap...so maybe secretions stops after a while?


Sorry for any confusion. I'm using the term "sap" generically to include any possibly reactive secretion from the tree fibers. I think you can buy confidently from reputable suppliers; I doubt any bowls from Kuroki are going to stain your stones. Ever.

My Kuroki stones have fascinating purple and brown markings. If they ever picked up coloration from ay of my bowls, it might be difficult to detect, but I'd see it eventually.

https://imgur.com/DqFKA6a

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 Post subject: Re: Storing clamshell stones
Post #11 Posted: Wed Sep 06, 2023 9:37 am 
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bogiesan02 wrote:
My Kuroki stones have fascinating purple and brown markings


Wow, beautiful set! Kurokigoishiten's note (there's a picture in this thread) mentions something about the stains in new bowls. I actually got mine from Hyuga Board & Stone (https://en.goboard-stone.co.jp/) and I'm keeping them in their bags when not in use. After a while I think I'll keep them in the bowls, I believe they should be fine.


Last edited by expora on Wed Sep 06, 2023 12:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Storing clamshell stones
Post #12 Posted: Wed Sep 06, 2023 12:54 pm 
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Various colors occur in natural clam stones, probably originating in minerals in the location where the shell grew. Japanese clams from Hyuga tend to develop brown stripes or smudges. Mexican clam tends to overall yellowish tan over time. My personal preference is for white, unmarked stones. To keep the stones as white as possible it is advised to wash your hands before handling the stones and wash the stones frequently.

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 Post subject: Re: Storing clamshell stones
Post #13 Posted: Mon Sep 25, 2023 8:02 am 
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I have two sets of fine, thick stones. I've had them for many years and keep them in their bowls, without a cloth liner. I have noticed no discoloration or chipping. At intervals I will clean the stones, to remove contaminants, and I will re-oil the slate stones lightly, but I don't otherwise fuss with the stones.

I suspect that when stones are returned to bowls, if chips occur, it's not because the stones have hit the wood with too much force but because they have hit each other, the stones being much harder than the wood. Wood has a slight "give," while slate and clamshell have none.

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